Monday, September 12, 2011


Today, September 12, is Mindfulness Day.

Practice mindfulness throughout your day. 

Try to be present in the moment - whatever that moment brings.

Let the mind of desire,
the mind of clinging,
the mind of disappointment
all dissolve in the moment.

Zen Master Dae Gak tells us, in his book Going Beyond Buddha, that there are
four formal practices in Zen Buddhism:
bowing practice
sitting and walking practice
chanting practice
formal meal practice.

For Westerners whose minds are never still, the physicality of bowing practice might be a good place to begin.  Or perhaps we should start with chanting mantras as a way to silence our own inner dialogues. 

Master Dae Gak says, when using mantra as a listening practice, any word or phrase will do, as long as the mantra does not have so much meaning and association that it loses its simplicity and immediacy.

Any chant with which you are familiar will do.  It doesn't have to be Buddhist.

With our chant in mind, let's walk the steps up to the meditation hall, take our place on the cushion, and begin our mantra practice.  While you chant the mantra, keep out all other thoughts (not an easy task but it can be done, with practice - so they tell me!)
Happy Mindfulness Day!


Rachel Rose said...

I don't want to harsh you mellow,(or maybe I do),but nothing makes me more anxious then someone telling me to relax. Nothing drives me crazier then someone insisting that meditating is something everyone can do. Sometimes we do meditate unconsciously. I get into the zone when painting or beading,knitting,crocheting. Many of us can only meditate when our hands and frequently our minds our busy! We shouldn't fight this. It is our nature. I did enjoy this entry.

RH Carpenter said...

RachelRose, for me mindfulness is more than meditation - although meditation is so much more, too:
When you look into the face of a smiling baby - that's a meditation on the future; when you create something beautiful - that's a meditation on beauty; when you get into the zone and time disappears and you are being completely with that work - that's a meditation on creativity. Sorry this post bothered you - it certainly was not meant to bother anyone. It's just something I shared today. Tomorrow, I'll have something else to share.

Carol Blackburn said...

Nice post, Rhonda. I was wondering will the chant "I love my job, I love my job" do anything for my inner peace? It hasn't so far! :) I think I'll go paint.

RH Carpenter said...

LOL, Carol! Not sure that will work - perhaps, "A new job is coming" would work??

Carol King said...

Liked your paintings and your post. I should practice mindfulness more often...thanks for the info.

As far as my chant, I laughed at what Carol Blackburn wrote. I could never chant "I love my job" so I will try your suggestion.

RH Carpenter said...

Carol, when I was writing this, I immediately thought of that Beatles song, Let it Be. That might be a good chant :)

AutumnLeaves said...

Love these greens and blues! Oh to find that inner peace; so elusive!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Autumn. I find my peacefulness and mindfulness comes in small doses but I'll keep trying :) And, as always, this is just my suggestions and shared information for anyone who wants to read it or view the paintings (not my best but done in the spirit of the virtual retreat in my sketchbook with limited paints).